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Dear Sir, - Your favors of August 13 and 15 were received yesterday. The appointment of a successor to Samuel Bishop must await our reassembling at Washington. I enclose you the late letters of Livingston and Monroe for consideration, and to be returned to me when perused. You will find that the French government, dissatisfied perhaps with their late bargain with us, will be glad of a pretext to declare it void. It will be necessary, therefore, that we execute it with punctuality and without delay. I have desired the Secretary of the Navy so to make his arrangements as that an armed vessel shall be ready to sail on the 31st of October with the ratification, and, if possible, with the stock to France; if the latter can be got through both Houses in that time it will be desirable. Would it not be well that you should have a bill ready drawn to be offered on the first or second day of the session ? It will be well to say as little as possible on the constitutional difficulty, and that Congress should act on it without talking. I subjoin what I think a better form of amendment than the one I communicated to you before. I have been, with the aid of my books here, investigating the question of the boundaries of Louisiana, and am satisfied our claim to the Perdido is solid, and to the Bay of St. Bernard very argumentative. I observe that Monroe and Livingston are clear in our right to the Perdido. How would it do to annex all Louisiana east of the Mississippi to the Mississippi Territory, and all west of that river, below the mouth of Arcansa, establish into a separate territorial government ? Accept my affectionate salutations and assurances of esteem and respect.
" Louisiana as ceded by France to the United States is made a part of the United States. Its white inhabitants shall be citizens, and stand, as to their rights and obligations, on the same footing with other citizens of the United States in analogous situations. Save only that as to the portion thereof lying north of the latitude of the mouth of Arcansa River no new State shall be established, nor any grants of land made therein, other than to Indiaas in exchange for equivalent portions of lands occupied by them, until an amendment of the Constitution shall be made for these purposes.
" Florida also, whensoever it may be rightfully obtained, shall become a part of the United States. Its white inhabitants shall thereupon be citizens, and shall stand, as to their rights and obligations, on the same footing with other citizens of the United States in analogous situations."
- President Jefferson
- The writings of Albert Gallatin, Vol I, Henry Adams